Folic acid has always been the most convenient choice to add to supplements, including pre-natal supplements. Most of us get some folic acid in our diet everyday, but not everyone gets enough. It is recommended that women take a multivitamin pill with 400 mcg. of folic acid daily in addition to eating a healthy diet.
Synthetic o manufactured folic acid is added to some grain products like flour, rice, pasta, cornmeal, bread and cereals. These foods are considered “fortified” with folic acid. the natural form of folic acid is “folate”, which is found in foods. The body more readily absorbs folic acid from multi-vitamins and fortified foods but it needs to be in the form of folate. Once in your blood stream, however, you body can’t tell the difference and uses the vitamin for the same purpose.
Sources of folic acid:
- breakfast cereals that say “fortified”
- orange juice
- beans, lentils and black-eye peas
- dark green leafy vegetables like spinach
- broccoli, asparagus, green peas and okra
- pasta, torillas and bread products that say enriched or fortified on the label but NOTE: (it will be enriched with folic acid vs. folate)
- rice and grits
- soybeans and tofu
- peanut butter
BARRIERS TO FOLIC ACID ABSORPTION
Some substances can inhibit folic acid from being absorbed or used by the body. These include:
cigarettes and smoking
antacids and anti-ulce medications
some anti-seizure medication
some anti-cancer drugs
non-steroidals, anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen
oral hypoglcemic agents
MTHFT gene factor inhibits metabolism of folic acid, therefore, the only form your body will be able to metabolize is going to be the natural form of folate.
If you suspect that you may have the MTHFR gene factor, please talk to your doctor about being tested as this is also passed onto your children.
Dr. Jodi Barnett N.D.